UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

A Look at Lake Toho

Stop No. 2 of the 2019 FLW Tour takes us to Lake Toho and the several other lakes strung along the Kissimmee River. Presented by Ranger Boats, the tournament will take off from Big Toho Marina on the north end of the namesake lake, but competitors will be able to spread out down the Kissimmee River into Cypress Lake, Lake Hatchineha (Hatch), Lake Kissimmee, and perhaps even Tiger Lake and Lake Rosalie if they’re feeling adventurous.

 

All the main lakes on the chain are connected by the Kissimmee River, which has been developed into what is essentially a string of canals running lake-to-lake. The two primary lakes are Toho and Kissimmee, and there’s about a 14 1/2-mile run between them composed of some brief sections of Cypress and Hatchineha and plenty of canal. The lock at the south end of Toho serves as the gateway to the rest of the chain. Current running through the river is one of the defining features of the chain and, to an extent, sets it apart from the typical Florida lake.

 

Lake Toho will probably see the most fishing pressure this week, but it’s not a guarantee to produce the win. Flipping through the pages of bass fishing history reveals that Toho and Kissimmee have accounted for about an equal share of wins, with almost nobody relying primarily on one of the other lakes in the chain.

Toho is the most developed lake on the chain, and it has more docks and canals than the others, but otherwise it’s fairly similar to the rest of the crew. It does, however, have the clearest water, so it’s probably the best for actual sight-fishing. Though, catching spawning bass that aren’t visible certainly has a lot of history in Florida that shouldn’t be discounted.

 

Back in January 2001, Dean Rojas set the all-time five-bass limit record for B.A.S.S. at the mouth of Shingle Creek on Lake Toho. He rolled in on day one of the tournament and landed on a pile of huge spawning bass. By the end of the day, he’d landed five for a total of 45 pounds, 2 ounces. Rojas went on to win the tournament with a total of 20 bass for 108-12.

Someone weighing 45 pounds would be a surprise this week. But, with the balmy weather and a stacked field, some truly gigantic catches might just happen.

 

There’s about a 3-foot difference in water level between Toho and the downstream lakes.  A spillway lets the water leave Toho, and the lock alongside it is the only way boats can get out. The lock can fit about 15 boats in it per cycle, and depending on how much traffic there is and how good an angler’s timing is, getting through can take just a few minutes or more than 20 minutes. For travel time to Kissimmee and back to weigh-in, it’s an essential concern.

 

Hatchineha and Cypress are the two smaller lakes that are truly on the Kissimmee River, and they will produce some bass, but they’re more likely to be driven through by many anglers en route to Kissimmee. In years past, the canals and associated shell bars and current places between the lock and the mouth into Kissimmee have produced quite a few fish, most notably in the 2015 FLW Tour event, when Stetson Blaylock, Troy Morrow, Wesley Strader, Randy Blaukat and others all made hay in the current.

 

Attached by a small, winding creek to Lake Kissimmee, Tiger Lake could certainly produce some fish this week. It’s basically a bowl of Kissimmee grass and docks. Lake Rosalie is connected to Tiger by another creek, but it’s probably not going to be accessible to bass boats, though you wouldn’t want to bet against John Cox.

 

At around 30,000 acres, Lake Kissimmee is the largest on the chain, and would almost surely get the most attention if the lock wasn’t in the way. Even so, it’s got a rich history of giving up big bass. Kissimmee has all the usual pieces of Florida cover, from hydrilla to Kissimmee grass, pads and mats.

 

Two of the most popular sections of Kissimmee are North Cove (pictured) and Jack’s Slough. North Cove is protected by Sturm Island and has some of the best water clarity and lushest grass in the lake. Jack’s Slough is characterized by acres of pad fields and is where Luke Clausen won the Bassmaster Classic in 2006, and where Stacey King spent much of his time in 2015 when he finished fourth in the Tour event. Of course, all of the lake is really in play, as the entirety of it is rimmed with gorgeous-looking Florida cover.

 

Fishing hydrilla has always been a player on the Kissimmee Chain, but this year it might be more important than ever. The south end of Toho is simply loaded with it, similar to some of the lakes on the Harris Chain, where offshore fishing was the dominant tactic last year. There is definitely a lot of potential for a true shallow Florida slugfest to break out this week, but the fact that the offshore grass looks so juicy could liven things up a lot. At the very least, it might be a productive stop on the way to and from Kissimmee.

 

Any tournament on the Kissimmee Chain will feature near-constant references to pads. There are plenty of “flat pads” in the lakes, but the main thing to account for is spatterdock (Nuphar advena). Spatterdock has a very developed root system the bass will often clear off and spawn on, and the stems of the pads are extremely tough. Flipping a jig in the pads or dragging a worm across the root systems is a time-honored method for extracting bass.

 

Kissimmee grass is an emergent grass that really looks like it belongs out of the water. It’s present on all the lakes, and can be extremely productive. A swim jig is one of the preferred methods for catching fish in and around Kissimmee grass.

 

Of course, flipping is always going to play in Florida, and there is plenty of cover for it. From hyacinth, reeds and water lettuce mats to cattails and buggy whips, there is all kinds of stuff to flip. Cold fronts often bring flipping to the forefront, but that doesn’t mean it should be discounted as a technique when the bite is good. Big Florida bass like heavy cover no matter what. 

 

If you’re an FLW Tour pro who loves grass fishing, this could be the week for you on Toho and the rest of the Kissimmee Chain. With warming water and a great population of bass, the fishery should provide a real show from central Florida.

Tags: jody-white  pre-tournament  2019-02-07-lake-toho 

Toho on YouTube

Toho on YouTube

The second stop of the FLW Tour season on Lake Toho was a big-bass bonanza. Thanks to mandatory POV cameras and marshals, plenty of big bass were caught on camera. Aside from individual catches, pros also documented their practice and tournament days to give the viewer and inside look at how their event unfolded. Below is the full list of videos released by the pros at this point.  READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Toho

AOY Update: Lake Toho

 With the first two events of the 2019 FLW Tour season in the books, it’s time to take a look at how the Angler of the Year race is shaping up. At Sam Rayburn and Lake Toho the pros were tested with very different conditions, and the standings include anglers different specialties and skill sets than at this time last year, when the Tour’s first two events were both held in Florida. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

While the Lake Toho FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats fell basically right on top of a wave of spawning bass piling into the shallows, many of the top finishers targeted bass that were staging out or transitioning to or from their beds. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Toho

Top 10 Baits from Toho

The second stop of the 2019 FLW Tour landed right on the spawn on Lake Toho and the other lakes on the Kissimmee Chain. Top finishers caught bass in all phases of the spawn. Collectively, they used just about every bait you’ll ever need if you want to catch a bass this time of year in the Sunshine State. READ MORE »

Marshal Program a Big Hit for Hughes

Marshal Program a Big Hit for Hughes

Retired minister Dan Hughes made the most money he’s ever banked in a fishing tournament, and he did it without even picking up a rod. The 70-year-old Fitzgerald, Ga., resident was the winner of FLW’s marshal contest at the Tour’s second stop of the season at Lake Toho, presented by Ranger Boats. Paired with John Cox on day one and Chris Neau on day two, Hughes’ pros combined for 41 pounds, 10 ounces during his two days on the water to take home the $2,500 top prize. READ MORE »

Georgia’s Gross Wins FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

Georgia’s Gross Wins FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Pro Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 12 ounces, to the scale Sunday... READ MORE »

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »

FLW Live from Lake Toho

FLW Live from Lake Toho

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Chickamauga’s Gross Out Front at FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

Chickamauga’s Gross Out Front at FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – After an exciting day of movement atop the leaderboard, FLW Tour pro Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, took the lead Saturday... READ MORE »

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

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Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »

Cox Holds Lead after Day Two of FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, brought five bass to the scale weighing 17 pounds, 4 ounces, to hold the lead after day two of the FLW Tour at Lake Toho presented by Ranger Boats. Cox’s two day total of 10 bass weighing 48-13 will give him... READ MORE »

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »

Cox Catches 31-Pound Limit, Leads Day One of FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, hauled in a massive five-bass limit weighing 31 pounds, 9 ounces – the largest limit ever weighed in FLW... READ MORE »

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Roaming Kissimmee with Douglas

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Hailing from Minnesota, Josh Douglas is in his third year on the FLW Tour and looking for his first FLW Cup qualification. Were it not for a disqualification in the final event of the year at St. Clair in 2018, Douglas would have sailed into the Cup. After a tough start to the year at Rayburn, he’s planning to get back on track at the FLW Tour event presented by Ranger on Lake Toho. READ MORE »

Burghoff Checks Out Toho on Day 2

Burghoff Checks Out Toho on Day 2

FLW Tour rookie Miles “Sonar” Burghoff kicked off his freshman season with a strong performance on Sam Rayburn, where he just missed fishing the final day with a 12th-place finish. Now, the Tour is on a system he is more than familiar with, having spent countless hours on Lakes Toho and Kissimmee while attending college at the University of Central Florida. READ MORE »